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Education

Education

Education in Flossmoor is built on a tradition of excellence. Knowledgeable, compassionate teachers; active school boards; and involved parents work together to provide a challenging and rewarding academic environment for students of all ages and abilities. Students are encouraged to work to their highest potential, have a sense of academic responsibility and develop a lifetime love of learning. With this strong academic outlook in Flossmoor, students are ensured full preparation for either taking advantage of higher learning opportunities or entering the workforce.

School District 161 provides nationally renowned primary education to the youth of Flossmoor. The District serves approximately 2,600 children in its five facilities — Serena Hills Elementary, Flossmoor Hills Elementary, Heather Hill Elementary, Western Avenue Elementary and Parker Junior High. Featured in Elaine K. McEwan’s “10 Traits of Highly Successful Schools,” School District 161 has a long and highly distinguished reputation of educational excellence and is committed to providing a challenging learning experience for its students.

High School

More than 500 School District 161 students were honored in February 2008 for outstanding academic achievement on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). This included 329 students who earned scores in the "exceeds expectations" range in reading and/or mathematics in grades 3-5 and 213 students who exceeded expectations in reading and/or mathematics in grades 6-7. In addition, there were more than 240 students who exceeded expectations in both reading and mathematics as well as five perfect scores. In May, the Board of Education honored students for outstanding accomplishments as exhibited by improved overall student achievement, participation in Math Bowl/Math Counts programs, Science Olympiad, the Midwest Talent Search, and outstanding musical and instrumental talents as participants in the Illinois Music Educators Association competitions and performances.

Rich community values are instilled in the students through a number of wonderful outreach programs. Participation in local food and clothing drives, donations to assist those affected by national disasters and much more are just some of the programs District students are involved in year-round.

In recent years, the District has been working with community leaders to initiate CHARACTER COUNTS! This distinct program teaches and models common values known as the Six Pillars of Character – trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. These pillars provide the standards for conduct and interactions at school and in the community.

Around 3,000 students go on to attend Homewood-Flossmoor High School (H-F). H-F serves the villages of Flossmoor, Homewood and portions of Chicago Heights, Glenwood, Hazel Crest and Olympia Fields.

H-F High School has been the recipient of a host of awards and accolades over the years, creating a strong sense of educational significance in the area. In fall of 2002, H-F High School received the 2001-2002 Blue Ribbon School’s Special Emphasis Award in Technology, making it the sole public high school in the nation to be honored with this special technology award.

In May of 2002, H-F High School was just one of two public high schools in the state, and just one of 14 nationally, to be named as a three-time winner of the U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence in Education. H-F has also received the Department of Education's Technology Award twice and has been named a top-ranked school by SchoolMatch for an impressive 15 consecutive years. Adding to these commendations is Electronic Learning Magazine’s ranking of H-F as one of the nation’s five best high school technology centers.

More recently, the May 2007 issue of Newsweek ranked H-F High School number 689, placing H-F in the top two percent of public high schools in the nation.

Homewood-Flossmoor High School teachers are dedicated to being the best they can be. More than 61 percent of the faculty members have earned a master's degree or higher, with the “typical” Homewood-Flossmoor teacher having 9.8 percent years of experience. Awards won by Homewood-Flossmoor teachers and administrators include three Golden Apple awards, a Reader's Digest “Teacher of the Year” award, an inclusion into the “Teacher Hall of Fame,” a Coca-Cola Educator of Distinction, an INROADS Educator of the Year and an All-State Director for the Illinois High School Theatre Festival.

The student body is diversified, spirited and highly motivated. Average daily attendance is 92 percent and the graduation rate is 97 percent — two outstanding statistics for any educational institution. Students are involved in more than 100 clubs and activities and can participate in 28 varsity sports, ranging from football to water polo.

Special recognitions garnered by H-F students in the past few school years include: a two-time perfect ACT scorer, a Tandy Scholar, numerous Chicago Tribune All-Academic Team winners, a National Silver Gloves Champion, multiple 1st Places in State for Group Interpretation and Contest Play and National DECA Quiz Bowl qualifiers.

H-F’s comprehensive curriculum provides traditional courses, yet offers students many options to develop their individual talents. Students may choose from more than 150 courses in subjects including world language, forensic science, theatre, radio and television production, zoology and more.

In addition, Homewood-Flossmoor High School’s facilities are among the best in the state. Modernized classrooms wired for computer-assisted instruction and satellite reception; a fully staffed computer center; a music wing for chorus, band and orchestra; state-of-the-art science labs; an Olympic-style swimming pool; a greenhouse for botanical experiments; a fully-equipped, student-run TV and radio station; and a recently renovated state-of-the-art auditorium round out the list of the high school’s exceptional facilities.

For an alternative to the public school system route, Flossmoor is home to a wealth of award-winning private schools. Infant Jesus of Prague, a two time Blue Ribbon School, serves students in pre-school through eighth grade, while Marian Catholic High School, yet another Blue Ribbon School, provides a top-notch educational program and a wide array of extracurricular activities. In addition, a number of preschool and three Montessori schools are also readily available.

Upon graduation from high school, those pursuing higher education are afforded superior choices in post- secondary educational options. Governors State University (GSU) in University Park and Prairie State College (PSC) in Chicago Heights provide outstanding continuing education opportunities for Flossmoor residents hoping to stay close to home.

For nearly four decades, GSU has stood as an upper-division university, offering undergraduate courses at the junior and senior levels, plus graduate level coursework. Governors State University’s four colleges include Arts and Sciences, Business and Public Administration, Education and Health Professions. GSU currently offers 47 degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as 11 certificate programs. And in 2007, GSU began offering its first professional doctoral degree program.

GSU is known for its small business development center, CenterPoint, which over the years has aided in arranging for nearly $53 million in business financing and has created and retained over 1,100 jobs in the region.

Founded in 1957, Prairie State College is a two-year community college offering associates degrees, technical and career studies certificates, plus adult, corporate and continuing education. Initially created in order to offer transfer liberal arts and occupational courses only, Prairie State now provides its student base with five types of associate degrees, two types of certificates and training in many other fields.

Prairie State has been ceaselessly expanding its offerings and facilities, boasting a modern Technical Center, Christopher Art Gallery, and Business and Community Education Center.

Prairie State continues to hold strong in its commitment to the community through several collaborations with St. James Hospitals, the Chicago Heights Park District and through the Matteson Area Center (MAC) and Prairie State College Corporate Training Center. Additionally, PSC also offers instruction at high schools and business and community centers across town.

Plenty of further options for higher education can be accessed easily from the Flossmoor community. The prestigious University of Chicago, along with many other institutions in the Chicagoland area, can be quickly reached through the area’s METRA rail service. In fact, Flossmoor’s excellent school system and convenient access to local colleges and universities has made the community “the residence of choice” for faculty and scholars.

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